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Technology Boost for Township and Rural Learners

PUPILS and tutors at Reagile Primary School in Tembisa can now enjoy the luxury of feeding complex questions to search engines like Google.

The Ekurhuleni based school now boasts a computer lab comprising of 21 laptops, a server, printer, cartridges, four WebBoxes (a keyboard like tool) with LCD Screens and a 400MB monthly internet access. All the goodies were courtesy of Vodacom Millionaires. When plugged into a television set, through wireless technology, a WebBox can turn the TV into a data device with access to the internet, games, email, SMS and FM radio. “Our school only had computers for use by the administration team. We are humbled to be recipients of the computer lab, specifically for our learners, which will improve the quality of schooling we offer,” says Mrs Msiza, principal of Reagile Primary School. Vodacom Millionaires, televised on SABC 1 on Tuesday evenings, donates four computer labs every month. Schools in rural areas and townships have to date received a total of 270 computer labs through the television game show. “Internet penetration in South Africa is still very low especially in townships schools. We aim to bridge the digital divide that exists in communities without access to electronic and information technology (ICT). The internet plays an important role in the classroom as it expands the teaching resources available,” says Suraya Hamdulay, executive head of corporate citizenship at Vodacom.

A public private partnership between Vodacom, the Department of Basic Education and several technology partners resulted in the launch of the Vodacom Mobile Education initiative last year. The programme makes use of mobile technology to provide teachers with better access to quality teaching resources and ICT. Schools that are without a computer lab are encouraged to contact Vodacom Millionare to apply for assistance. More information and application forms can be obtained by phoning 082 243 2982.

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